Moisture absorption early postmortem predicts ultimate drip loss

C. Kapper, C.J. Walukonis, T.L. Scheffler, J.M. Scheffler, C. Don, M.T. Morgan, J.C. Forrest, D.E. Gerrard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Water-holding capacity is the ability of meat to hold moisture and is subject to postmortem metabolism. The objective of this study was to characterize the loss of moisture from muscle postmortem and investigate whether these losses are useful in predicting the ultimate drip loss of fresh pork. Cotton–rayon absorptive-based devices were inserted in the longissimus dorsi muscles of pork carcasses (n = 51) postmortem and removed at various intervals for 24 h. Greatest moisture absorption was observed at 105 min post exsanguination. Drip loss varied (0.6–15.3%) across carcasses. Individual absorption at 75 min correlated (r = 0.33) with final drip loss. Correlations improved using individual absorption values at 90 min (r = 0.48) and accumulated absorption values at 150 min (r = 0.41). Results show that significant moisture is lost from muscle tissue early postmortem and suggest that capture of this moisture may be useful in predicting final drip loss of fresh meat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-976
JournalMeat Science
Issue number2A
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • water-holding capacity
  • m-longissimus-dorsi
  • electrical-stimulation
  • meat quality
  • porcine muscle
  • pigs
  • ph
  • halothane
  • temperature
  • glycolysis


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